Millpark took a strong team to Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday, including two debutants in former Portadown players, Ali and Ikram.
Batting first Millpark quickly lost the wicket of Aaron Robb with the score on just 13. Ben Talbot came to the wicket to join former Ireland international Charlie McCrum. Talbot made a pleasing 26, while McCrum was frustrated to be out for 20, just as he was starting to get going.
Keith Dempster and Stu McCart then showed their class with exhilarating innings of 60 and 82 respectively, putting on a fantastic partnership of well over 100 runs.
As the total passed 200, Davy Glover made the most of the momentum his teammates had injected to the innings, and his 36 runs helped the Tullylish men to 257-8 in their allotted 50 overs.
Just two runs were on the board when McCrum struck to take the first wicket. Wickets continued to fall, as Cooke struggled to 90-8. Among the wickets were McCrum (2-24), and the ever reliable Glover (3-26).
Debutants Ali and Ikram bowled six overs apiece. Although Ali (0-24) did not take any wickets, he bowled with enough pace and accuracy to suggest that he will be a key member of the team. Ikram took a wicket with the third ball of his first over, his wily spin eventually bringing him excellent figures of 3-26.
Cooke did rally as Richard Johnson took up the cudgels, hitting a quickfire 66 before he was caught off the bowling of Darrell Martin (1-42). The Belfast team were eventually all out for 172.
A very encouraging 85 run win for Millpark to really get their season going.